Police are calling for help to track down whoever punched a 68-year-old man in the head in Paihia and left him unconscious on the street.

Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson, of Mid North police, said the man was walking down Marsden Rd in the vicinity of the stone church between 2am and 2.30am on Saturday when he was assaulted.

''He has been struck to the head by a person or persons unknown, he has fallen, and he has later received medical treatment.''

Initial inquiries to identify the offender, which included searching through CCTV footage, had been unsuccessful so police were appealing to the public for information about the attack.


Robinson urged anyone who knew who the offender was to call the Kerikeri station on (09) 407 9211 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

The victim was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa and discharged later on Saturday.

Mori Rapana, visitor experiences manager at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, said in a Facebook post on Saturday that the victim was his father and a grandfather to his children.

He also urged anyone who knew about the attack, or who was behind it, to come forward.

Rapana said the king hit — also known as a coward's punch — struck his father on the side of his head, knocking him unconscious and leaving him with a swollen eye socket.

Had the punch landed a few centimetres to either side it could have resulted in serious injury or even death.

Rapana said his 68-year-old father, who worked for Focus Paihia as well as on Fullers GreatSights boats and tour buses, wouldn't harm anyone.